Hello fellow harvesters and desert-food lovers. We wrapped up a whirlwind series of events at the end of June and have so much to be grateful for! Thanks to everyone who contributed and participated. Now we can all sit back and enjoy the monsoon rains. Be sure to plant abundance this year that can be harvested the next—and long into the future. Read Desert Harvester Cameron Jones’ account of our June events, and see the selection of great photos he curated here!


Realize the abundance of the desert, and come on out to one or all of these great events!

6th Annual Cascabel Mesquite Milling Festival
Sat., October 16, 2004
9 am to 2 pm

Mesquite pancake and waffle breakfast served from 9 to 10 AM.

The hammermill is fired up at 10am to grind your harvested mesquite pods into delicious, nutritious flour. Milling is free for non-commercial home use. Donations gratefully accepted.

This event is hosted by the Cascabel Hermitage Association Education Program. The event happens in Cascabel (just north of Benson). For more information contact David and Pearl at or 520-212-4628.

2nd Annual Mesquite Milling at the Tucson Community Food Bank Farmers’ Market
Tues., November 9, 2004, 8 to noon

Our hammermill will be available to grind your harvested mesquite pods into delicious, nutritious flour. $3 minimum donation requested for milling.

The event is hosted by the Southside Food Production Network and the Tucson Community Food Bank. For more information call 622-0525. Ask for Dana or Kelley.

2nd Annual Mesquite Milling Fiesta and Mesquite Pancake Breakfast at the Dunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden
(north of downtown Tucson)

Sat., November 20, 2004
9 am to 2 pm

The mesquite pancake breakfast starts at 9am and keeps going until everyone is full or we run out of batter. A $3 donation is requested for the pancake breakfast. Live music will accompany the good food. Recipe books will be on hand for purchase.

The hammermill will be available to grind your harvested mesquite pods into delicious, nutritious flour. $3 minimum donation (separate from pancake donation) requested for milling.

This event is hosted by Tucson’s Desert Harvesters.

Only clean dry pods will be run through the mill. If they are too moist (they bend, rather than snap in two, if bent) or mixed with dirt or debris they will be turned away, since they would otherwise bind or damage the mill.
Click here for more mesquite harvesting and storage tips.

Directions to Dunbar-Spring Community Garden
The garden is located at the corner of 11th Avenue and University Blvd. The nearest major intersection is Speedway & Stone. From Speedway & Stone: Go south on Speedway 3 blocks, and turn right on University Blvd. Go 3 more blocks to 11th Ave. The garden is at the northwest corner of University and 11th.


Mesquite Mill Comes to Tucson

Our local group of native food lovers held our first mesquite-milling fiesta in December 2003. We’d just bought our hammermill – a $5,000 industrial milling tool that is the only way to efficiently grind mesquite pods into mesquite flour.

This mill is the first of its kind in Tucson. It will enable Tucsonans to make use of one of our most abundant natural food resources: mesquite pods that are available each summer and fall right alongside our city streets.

Desert Harvesters purchased the hammermill with the intent of making it available to the community. We’ve installed the mill on a portable trailer, so it can easily be transported to other sites for community milling events elsewhere. We plan to hold a milling event annually each fall. Those with mesquite pods to grind are encouraged to bring them to the annual event. The fiesta is open to everyone, whether they have pods to grind or not.

At our 2003 event, we served a mesquite pancake breakfast to 100 people, complemented by many donations of delicious native condiments, including delicious prickly pear syrup and saguaro syrup.

Mesquite flour can be baked into breads, cakes and muffins. It is highly nutritious and is valued for its natural sweetness. Mesquite flour was a staple food for many of the Native Americans indigenous to the Sonoran Desert region.

Many thanks to Pro Neighborhoods for their support in making this project a reality.

See the Hammermill Page for more information about the mill.